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The Greatest Clay court players of all time

It is back-breaking for a player to dominate on the clay court. Here we take a look at the Top-5 clay court players of all time.

Last updated: 30.03.2019
The Greatest Clay court players of all time | Sports Social Blog

Its summer time in the Indian Subcontinent and the clay court season is in full swing. It's time to shift the gear to a slower a court for the Tennis Professionals. Clay courts are known as 'slow’ courts as the ball bounce is relatively slow and high. But this also makes it more difficult for a player to play a shot with the sliding shoes. Rallies are longer with very fewer winners.

It is difficult to rule on the clay as it requires a player to be consistent all over the match with less margin of error. A player to succeed on clay needs to play consistently well from the baseline along with strong defensive skills. The clay checks the technique, stamina and mental stability of a player which makes it the hardest court to play on.

It is back-breaking for a player to dominate on the clay court. But there are some of the legends who along with prevailing the clay events made some incredible records. Let's look at the Top-5 clay court players of all time.

5. Mats Wilander

Wilander is one of the only two players to conquer the French Open on the first try in 1982. He entered the Roland Garros as an unseeded player but went through to the finals. He defeated No. 3 seed Guillermo Vilas in the finals to win the first grand slam title of his career. The Swedish has won 3 French Open titles out of the 7 major titles success in his career. Wilander's success on clay court played a huge role in his presence in the International Tennis Federation Hall of Fame.

4. Ivan Lendl

The American has won 28 clay court titles including the three French Open. He dominated the French Open in the mid-80s. He won three titles four years from 1984 to 1987. In 1978, he won the boys singles title at the French Open which helped him become the No.1 ranked junior player. Lendl also reached his first grand slam finals at the French Open 1981. He has won 8 major titles in his career, the first coming at French Open 1984. The American has an incredible 81.52 winning percentage in French Open.

3. Thomas Muster

Muster was also known as the king of clay in the 90s. He became the first Austrian to win a grand slam title when he came out victorious at the French Open 1995. He won 40-clay court titles with three Monte Carlo Masters and three Rome Masters. He has one of the highest winning percentages on Clay with 77%.

2. Bjorn Borg

Bjorn Borg is one of the greatest players of all time in the game of tennis. The most amazing part of his career was he retired at the age of 26 and all his achievements came in a short period of time. Borg played only 8 French Open winning 6 of them. He has a 96.08 winning percent success at Roland Garros with a 49-2 win-loss record. He has an incredible record of winning 41 consecutive sets at the French Open. The Swedish has conquered 30 clay titles in his short career which is unimaginable.

1.Rafael Nadal

The clay does not care for anyone unless it is 'Rafael Nadal’. Nadal is the all-time king of clay, he has conquered it all at the clay court events. The Spaniard has broken every record on a clay court. He is just unbeatable on the red clay. He has won 11 titles at the Roland Garros, no other player has ever won a tournament for these many times in the open era.

Rafa has conquered 57 clay court titles, most by any player. Nadal was the champion at Monte Carlo Masters and Barcelona Open for 11 times. Along with this, he lifted the trophy at the Rome Masters for 8 times. At the Madrid Masters, he came out victoriously for 5 times. For his incredible performance at the Barcelona Open, the organizers decided to change the name of their stadium to “Rafa Nadal Stadium”. Nadal has done the unthinkable on clay courts. It would be impossible for any player to beat the records made by Rafael Nadal on a clay court. He truly is the ‘King of the clay’.

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